What is all this “PIP” I keep hearing about?
“PIP”, or Personal Injury Protection, is required by statute to be part of any insurance policy. The only way it is not part of the insurance policy is if it was waived in writing; remember though that a spouse’s waiver will extend to the spouse that did not waive. If for some reason there is no signed waiver of the PIP in the insurance company’s file then the insurance company is required to provide a minimum of $2,500.00 in coverage.
Who is covered by PIP?
The triggering event in PIP is a covered car accident under a standard insurance policy. Anyone in the vehicle is covered by PIP up to the PIP limits. That means that even if you are not insured by the policy and are just an authorized passenger that you may be covered under the PIP coverage.
The allure of having PIP is that payment is statutorily required to be paid regardless of fault, except for an offset of liability made on the same policy.
Generally speaking, PIP coverage cannot be considered as an offset for the personal injury claim unless the PIP and the injury claim are both being paid out from the same insurance policy.
When trying to figure out what aspects of coverage your PIP will pay remember that your general medical or dental services are typically covered as well as replacement of loss income and for someone who is not employed reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred for essential services that the injured person typically performed for care and maintenance of the family or family household.
Lastly, one issue that is often overlooked is that except for certain liens PIP benefits are to be paid to the beneficiary and not to the healthcare provider absent a signed assignment from the person that is insured.